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post #1 of 8 Old 04-03-2005 Thread Starter
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autohelm recommendations plse

Im in the market for a wheel pilot autohelm that is reliable and not a power hog, for a 34'' sailbaot. Will be used for coastal cruising (Pacific). I have the new Raymarine C70 GPS system so have been looking at The ST4000MK2 but not sure if its worth the $1,000. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 8 Old 04-03-2005
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autohelm recommendations plse

I have the ST4000 MkII on my boat and I have been satisfied with it. The rudder angle sensor seems to really help the performance of the system quite a bit in wave conditions. I have used it in both light and heavy conditions but only on coastal conditions. My boat is a 10,600 lb 38 footer.

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post #3 of 8 Old 04-04-2005 Thread Starter
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autohelm recommendations plse

Thx Jeff - is it hard or any tricks to install?
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post #4 of 8 Old 04-05-2005
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autohelm recommendations plse

I found the system pretty easy to install. The templates were good and the instrcutions pretty clear and concise. Initial calibration did not go as smoothly as I had hoped but this was mostly related to the characteristics of my boat. The standard settings assume 3 to 3 1/2 turns lock to lock on the steering wheel. My boat only has 1 1/2 turns lock to lock and until we figured out that was causing the problem (in a cellphone conversation with tech support while programing the unit out on the water) I went through a several week period that was very frustrating. According to Raymarine had the rudder angle indicator sensor been installed at that point the system would have quickly discovered the problem and possibly solved it on its own.

Several other issues that occured. For some reason the box of parts that came with my Autopilot was missing a number of parts that were necressary to make the system work (mostly related to the wheel clamps and the linkage for the rudder angle sensor). Because my system was being replaced by BoatUS Insurance after a lightning strike, BoatUS express shipped me a second unit and told me to cannabalize the second unit and send back what I did not use. Much to my surprise, the same parts were missing from the second unit as well. Ultimately Raymarine shipped me the parts directly. Hopefully, that packaging problem has been straightened out by now.

The only other installation issue was that in my case I had to build a fiberglass bracket that allowed me to install the rudder sensor unit with the correct geometry. It was fun building the small mould and producing this one off fiberglass part but it added just one more step to the installation process. The system will work without the rudder angle sensor, but the sensor required the most invention and complexity to install.

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Jeff
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post #5 of 8 Old 01-06-2008
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I'm looking at installing a Raymarine Wheelpilot and it has the rudder sensor unit. How did you fabricate the mount? Can you give details, and pictures if you have them? Thanks!
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post #6 of 8 Old 01-06-2008
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I installed the new S1 unit on my 32' 1100 lb boat. It replaced a the original 4000 series autohelm. It has worked very well for me, and I found installation to be fairly easy. The hardest part was mounting the rudder sensor. Or, I should say, figuring out how to mount it.

fixteeth - while I used a L bracket made from starboard to mount the sensor on, that may not be applicable with your boat. Depends on the type of steering setup and configuration under the cockpit area where it's mounted.

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post #7 of 8 Old 01-06-2008
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Fixteeth

Fixteeth,

This is a two year old thread. If you have specific questions I find it's best to use the New Thread button and creat a "new" topic. I know it's frustrating when you do a search and topics match your request but do try and look at the dates of posts you're responding to. This post was originally about a ST4000+MKII and it's no longer even being made and the replacement is the S1 Wheel Pilot.

P.S. try this thread, even though it's 9 months old the equipment being discussed is still being made & there is a good link to one method of installing a rudder sensor..
Raymarine S1 autopilot

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post #8 of 8 Old 01-06-2008
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Fixteeth-

I'd also recommend you read this post, to get the most out of your time on Sailnet.

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